Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Times (Non-) Celebration of Indian Independence

The New York Times today ran two op-ed pieces "commemorating" Indian independence predictably, by giving full flower to its pro-Muslim bias.

The top article is a softball piece focusing on the author's personal history (as if anyone other than himself would care) and exclaiming "For me personally, the 60th anniversary of independence, while worthy of note, is not of the utmost importance." So what's he doing writing an article about it?

The reason is to say what a wonderful place Pakistan is: "Pakistan now has private television stations that refuse to let the government set the news agenda. It has a Supreme Court that has asserted its independence for the first time, restoring a chief justice suspended by the president. And it has an army under physical attack from within and in desperate need of compromise with civil society."

The bottom article is written by an Indian, but don't expect it to say anything nice about India. The entire focus of the article is on the divisions between Hindus and Muslims. On a petty note, the author says that Punjabi refugees from Muslim oppression "cheated their tenants." That's on the basis of the author's personal experience with his landlords! Amazing, or maybe not amazing, that this foul bigotry found its way past Times editors.

But not amazing at all when you consider the Times's well-known pro-Muslim bias.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mississippi on the West Bank

The New York Times today gives us a vivid reminder of its disconnect from reality in the Middle East, as well as its expected pro-Palestinian bias.

An atrocious front-page article by the reliably anti-Israel Steve Erlanger describes a "segregated" - as in Bull Connor and antebellum Mississippi and KKK - road on the West Bank.

The poor, poor Palestinians can't travel into Jerusalem unless they have proper permission. Horrible! Segregation! Apartheid! How could those bad bad Israelis do such a thing? The animals!

Little things such as terrorism or the day-to-day bloodletting did not intrude into the picture Erlanger painted. The road will eliminate the need for checkpoints, and is only a few miles long, but that is not mentioned in the article.

But then, right above the continuation of the article on an inside page, we have another article by the same reporter explaining why the road is needed. A Palestinian decided to grab a gun from a security guard in the Old City of Jerusalem, and went on a shooting spree. This is precisely the kind of terrorism that makes it impossible to allow West Bank Palestinians free access to the Old City.

If they weren't killing people there would be no need for roads without exits or separation barriers. But Erlanger makes no mention of the Jerusalem shooting spree in his article on the road.

That would allow reality to intrude, and reality is a concept that does not exist in the Times's coverage of the Middle East. Better to paint a picture of Bull Connor and Mississippi of 1960.